2016 Orlando nightclub shooter’s widow acquitted of charges
After a trial lasting two weeks, a federal court jury on Friday, March 30, acquitted Noor Salman, the widow of slain gunman Omar Mateen who carried out a bloodbath at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in June 2016, killing 49 people and leaving another 53 injured.
It was the only trial which was conducted following the horrendous terror attack in the night club in the night of June 12. Thirty-one-year-old Salman was accused of helping Mateen, who was shot dead following a three-hour standoff by the police, plan the attack and denying her role later. Mateen was an American born to Afghan immigrants.
The authorities had equated Mateen's actions with supporting terror attacks for he repeatedly pledged support to the Islamic State during his operation. It was because of this that Salman was charged with aiding her husband in giving material support to a terrorist organisation. She was also charged with obstructing the way of justice and misleading the investigators by making contradictory statements about whether she had a clear idea about what her husband's sinister plans.
Salman broke down after hearing the verdict and her family members were overjoyed. The spokesperson of Salman's family said her family was sorry for what had happened to the victims and survivors of the terror attack.
Salman, who has a young son, has been behind the bars since January 2017.
According to the prosecutors, Salman knew her husband was heavily armed when he left the house to complete his mission and she also later told the FBI that he was going to do something bad.
Salman's lawyers later defended by saying that her remark was that of a physically abused woman with low IQ under pressure. Her defence said she was tired of the long interrogation by the FBI sleuths and went to a confession mode fearing she might lose the custody of her son.
Salman's trial produced a number of revelations about the shooting in Pulse nightclub, reported NBC News. It was revealed that Mateen had originally made plans to attack Disney World but later changed his mind seeing the police security at the complex.
Data from Mateen's mobile phone also confirmed that the man had assessed a number of nightclubs before zeroing in on Pulse.